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10 Real Benefits of Studying Abroad + Cons & Student Questions


There are many benefits of studying abroad and it offers students many unique advantages. Participating in a study abroad program exposes you to a new culture as you have the opportunity to travel around the world. Examples include our very own Oxford summer school program for high school students. So, what are the advantages of studying abroad? Living in another country will:

  • teach you a new language and develop your worldview
  • you will increase your professional network
  • enhance your resume to stand out from other candidates. 

Some of the benefits to study abroad include developing new skills and traits such as:

  • adaptability
  • communication
  • crisis resolution
  • leadership
  • responsibility
  • time management.

When looking at study abroad programs, consider all the educational and location options so you can make the best choice for yourself.

10 benefits of studying abroad infographic

What Are The Main Benefits Of Studying Abroad?

So, what are the reasons for studying abroad? With an increasing number of students deciding to spend at least part, if not all, of their university degree in a foreign country, you might be wondering whether this is the right step for your own studies.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of reasons why you might want to step outside of your comfort zone and study abroad and the real benefits which this can have for your social life, life-changing happiness, and even your future career.

1. Expand your worldview by going abroad

Geography lessons are great and everything but you will learn so much more about the world by going abroad. Why? Through actually living in a different culture and talking to people. It can be easy to be caught up in your own bubble and not see the world.

Living abroad will broaden your horizons, and will automatically ensure that you meet people from a different culture than your own, making you a more worldly, sympathetic and interesting person to be around when you return home.

2. Enjoy travel opportunities

students planning travelling abroad for studies

This one is obvious: if you’re abroad already, those countries which used to feel out of reach will suddenly feel so much nearer, just because you’ve already taken the first step of moving outside of your home country. I guarantee that you’ll find yourself taking some incredible trips around your new country, or elsewhere, that you would never have done from home. And international experience can really help when applying to careers as it gives you an understanding of how other cultures work and act professionally.

3. Boosting your language skills is a huge benefit

Of course, as a native English speaker, if you move to Amsterdam, New York or Toronto, this might not be so applicable. But consider studying abroad if you want to double down on your grasp of a foreign language.

If you’re immersed in a particular language, you won’t be able to help improve your proficiency at it. Something that will put you in an excellent position for an international career in the future.

Learning a new language can, of course, be taught in a classroom, but there’s nothing like practising with a native speaker to really improve your abilities.

4. Boss your job applications and apply to graduate opportunities

foreign student learning in another country in Cambridge, UK

Putting your study abroad experience on your CV is highly attractive to both future employers and graduate school admissions, and tutors, as it shows that you are willing to take on challenging opportunities and are independent-minded.

It shows them too that you are open-minded and care about what is going on in the world outside of your own country.

Plus, while you are abroad, you never know what opportunities – travel for work or graduate school – might open up for you: there will be opportunities out there that you never even imagined. Why not go and find out?

5. Learn about a new culture

Here’s another benefit of studying abroad. There is no better way of understanding a different culture than actually living there.

Travelling abroad can certainly teach you this – especially if you take time to visit museums and heritage sites – but you will experience the culture of a place in far greater depth if you actually live there.

Plus, with a new culture comes delicious new food to taste and this can certainly be a major bonus of living abroad. It would be rude not to try all the food you can, right?

6. Learn about yourself and your own culture

student working on laptop on bed with white sheets

There is nothing like a bit of distance from your own culture to teach you something about it which you will, doubtless, take for granted at the moment.

Talking to people from outside your country about what they think of your home can also teach you a lot, and highlight aspects of it which you are blind to at the moment.

Whether these are positive things or negative things, you will return to your home with a new, and more balanced perspective than you left with.

7. Become independent and overcome challenges

I’m not going to pretend that moving abroad to study doesn’t come with challenges – it does.

Moving far from home to a new country where you don’t know anyone, where you are not fluent in the language and even studying at a university which could well have a very different teaching style than you are used to is bound to present you with challenges, but that is really the point.

Overcoming these day-to-day challenges will make you into a stronger, more independent individual and give you an immense sense of personal achievement at the end of it. If you’ve managed to study and live abroad independently, what else might you be capable of?

8. Studying Abroad Helps You Make Incredible Friends

So, you want to study overseas? Moving abroad for studying will also open up avenues for making so many interesting friends that you’d never meet at home.

Even if you move abroad to study alone, you won’t leave alone, and in some ways, it is better to go alone, as this allows you to have a completely clean slate for making new friends with other students studying abroad.

Whereas if you move with another person from home, you might be tempted to stay within your comfort zone and only socialise together.

Whether you make friends with other international students – and enjoy working through the fun challenges of living abroad together – or residents of your new country, I guarantee you will meet some incredible people from different countries during your studies and open up yet more avenues for travel in the future.

9. Challenge yourself to be the best you can be

On a similar advantage, when you move abroad, no one will have preconceptions about what kind of person you are, and that can be a truly liberating experience.

If you’ve always wanted to skydive, start a band, take up bareback horse racing, or whatever else it may be, now is your chance.

Become the version of yourself you have always wanted to be. Something that is bound to increase your happiness and self-confidence in the process.

Read our guide on the benefits of challenging yourself to understand why you should challenge yourself as a student.

10. Find a new home!

Finally, there is a chance that you will fall so in love with the new home that you’ll want to spend more time there in the future, and maybe even settle down there. You never know until you try it.

Bearing all of the above in mind, I hope you can see that studying abroad can bring huge advantages to your social life, career and general happiness. So, what are you waiting for? Draft your application now!

What are the cons of studying abroad?

While we covered the 10 benefits, studying in another country does have disadvantages too. These include:

  • Financial burden: It can be expensive depending on the location, with costs including tuition, housing, transportation, and living expenses.
  • Homesickness: Being in a foreign country for an extended period of time can lead to feelings of homesickness and isolation, regular visits back are advised but are an additional financial burden.
  • Language barriers: Even if you are fluent in the language of the country you are studying in, you may still face communication challenges. And if you are not planning to learn this language then that could be a problem.
  • Culture shock: Adjusting to another culture can be difficult and overwhelming. For instance, in China it’s customary to slurp your noodles if you think it’s tasty – in the West, this is considered ‘rude’.

Can You Study Abroad in Graduate School?

Yes, it is possible to study abroad during graduate school. Many graduate programs offer international education opportunities or have partnerships with universities abroad that allow students to study abroad as part of their degree program.

What’s it like to study in London as an international student?

Studying in London as an international student will lead to a unique and exciting experience. London has a diverse culture and rich history, and there’s plenty to do around the city from amazing parks to buzzing nightlife. Of course, academically London is also home to many world-renowned universities such as UCL and Imperial and offers a wide range of courses.

If you’re looking to try out London before applying to university, then attend a london summer school to get a flavour of the city and what it has to offer.

How much does it cost to study abroad?

The cost of studying abroad varies greatly on the country and institution you choose. For instance, if you choose the UK, international students may pay anywhere from £10,000 to £38,000 per year for tuition, depending on the course and university. Living expenses, such as housing, transportation, and food, can add an additional £10,000 to £20,000 per year.

In the USA, the cost is normally higher, with tuition and fees ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 per year for undergraduate programs and $30,000 to $100,000 per year for graduate programs. Living expenses can add another $12,000 to $20,000 per year.

Where Can You Study Abroad for Free?

We did the research so you don’t have to and we singled out 3 countries where you can study abroad for free. These are:

  1. Germany: A few universities don’t charge tuition fees for international students and most are very cheap, with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) only charging $244 per year for bachelor international students.
  2. Norway: If you apple to a public university in Norway, you do not have to pay tuition fees as they are free.
  3. Brazil: The Brazilian government offers a number of scholarships to international students, covering tuition and/or living expenses for the duration of their studies.

It’s important to note that these opportunities are usually limited and based on certain criteria such as your academic achievements, what you want to study and if you’re fluent in their language. Make sure to check with your careers counsellor or email the relevant institutions for more information.

Are you an International Student looking to study abroad?

We hope you found the above reasons to study abroad, just and motivating.

If you are an international student looking to study abroad, Cambridge should be on the top of your list. Experience what studying at Cambridge is like by signing up for one of our award-winning summer school programs where expert tutors from world-leading universities teach subjects like computer science, law, medicine, and much more.

Related Read:

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a huge influx of inquiries for our remote learning summer schools so make sure to check out the benefits of remote learning.


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